Finishing Black Walnut - Some Background

Before I get into finishing black walnut, I want to give some background information.

In our everyday lives, it is quite uncommon for an individual not to come across a piece of wood, either in its finished or raw state.

What this means is that wood is an essential item which we almost cannot live without.

Woodworking refers to the occupation of making all sorts of items from wood. Some of these items could include furniture.

It could also be referred to as the manufacture of a product from wood. This manufacturing or creation is done with certain tools such as a CNC router, which you can learn all about on Carve Your Creation. It also requires specialized knowledge which is needed to shape the wood into the desired structure.

Limits do not exist when it comes to what to build. People who strive to eke out a living from woodworking are called woodworkers, and these people are sometimes regarded as geniuses when it comes to working with the right set of woods.

Woods such as:

  • walnut
  • mahogany
  • maple
  • pine
  • others

…are notable woods which are used in woodworking.

Black Walnut

Black walnut is a species of tree in the walnut family.


This wood is rated high when it comes to durability and resistance to decay. It is regarded by woodworkers as one of the easiest woods to work with.

It is sometimes more expensive than other conventional hardwoods, and this is why it is most times treated like an uncommon and exceptional wood.

Hence, it is normally set aside for larger projects.

3 Great Finishes For Black Walnut

Finishing is when a product, which could be a panel, a wood piece or a tabletop, has been smoothed and sandpapered to a high degree of exactness, accompanied with a quality coating of either gel or oil.

When it comes to finishing black walnut, there are many ways of doing it to produce a great, long-lasting result.

First, check out this excellent video on finishing walnut:

Three of these methods are touched on below:

1. The Grain Filler Technique

This method retains the natural grain look of the walnut wood with its amplified contrast.

To achieve a high-gloss gleam, it is advisable to fill the grain before applying the clear finish.

This technique is ideal particularly when one needs a smooth table top, smooth counter top or something similar.

2. Wet-Sanded Tung Oil Varnish

This method gives a great contrast to the wood, and it also reveals the warm tones embedded in the wooden boards.

Those who prefer the look of an oil finish can try out tung oil varnish. This will give your black walnut a dark and warm colour.

3. Dyeing and Coating

This method is essential for changing the color which the sapwood of the walnut wood gives, and also enabling a long-lasting wooden product.

This technique is one of the simplest techniques when it comes to refurbishing walnut wood. With a dark brown dye, a dark brown gel stain and other similar products, you can be sure to get a nice rich color for your black walnut wood.

I have briefly touched on some ways to finish black walnut above. For more information on any of these, I would recommend doing a search or looking here.

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